"I often don't know where my luggage is! That's
what being a tourist all is about." -
Twoflower, the Discworld's first tourist.
Originally broadcast in England
and earning a very limited theatrical release in the US, The Color of Magic is an incredibly fun miniseries. Created by the same team that was responsible
for the first live-action adaptation of a Terry Pratchett novel, the
entertaining Hogfather, this movie goes back to the first discworld
adapts both The Color of Magic
and The Light Fantastic. Filled with humor, parodies and light-hearted
jabs at fantasy staples, this is a great movie that the whole family
Rincewind is a student at Unseen
the main school for magic on the Discworld.
The Discworld is exactly like it sounds:
a flat, giant disc that travels through space on the backs of
mighty elephants that in turn are standing on a giant turtle, the Great
As the story opens Rincewind is being
kicked out of school. After 40 years of
studying he's failed to pass a single course of even memorize a spell. There's a reason why he's the worst magician
on the disc, but it's little consolation to the old man.
About the same time as Rincewind gets the boot, Two Flower
appears in the city of Ankh-Morpork,
the most wretched city on the Disc. He's
something unusual; the Disc's first tourist.
He comes from the exact opposite side of the disc, in Agatean
the Counterweight Continent. It's called
the Counterweight Continent since it balances out the other side of the
even though the continent is very small.
The rumors are that it's so small because the whole continent is
gold but that's totally wrong as Twoflower tells Rincewind soon after
up. In the Agatean Empire gold is just a
very, very common metal.
Twoflower, wonderfully dressed in a bright flowered shirt,
Bermuda shorts, socks, and sandles, has brought with him his Luggage, a
made out of Sapient Pearwood. There are
maybe two small wands on this side of the disc made out Sapient
Pearwood, so a
whole chest is incredible. The box is
very loyal to Twoflower and will follow him anywhere on a dozen tiny
it's filled with hundreds of solid gold coins.
Since the coinage of Ankh-Morpork has about "as much gold in it
liter of sea water" the tourist, without realizing it himself is very,
After Rincewind helps Twoflower with some advice, the
tourist hires the failed magician to become his guide, and pays him two
coins a day, the first four days in advance.
The job is a little more difficult than Rincewind imagined
Twoflower has no idea what danger is, and they soon find themselves in
fight, burning the town down, riding dragons, being stalked by Death
fighting a troll the size of a small mountain, meeting the legendary
Barbarian, and finally having to save the world.
I read the books that this series was based on years ago and
immediately became enamored of both the story and author Terry
sense of humor. This movie does a good
job of capturing the feel of the books as well as the comedy in the
Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves in.
They did leave out some minor situations, which is a little
the program was long enough as it was and I'm not surprised that things
cut. They also made a wise decision in
merging the first two books into one story.
The first book is basically a series of comic vignettes that are
together. It's incredibly funny, but
there's not much plot. The second book,
The Light Fantastic, was built on a solid story about what happens when
turtle A'Tuin finds itself on a collision course with a star. Spreading that plot out a little created a
solid foundation to sprinkle the shorter comic scenes from the first
"If complete and utter chaos was lighting, then being tied
to you is like being on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper
and shouting 'All gods are idiots!'" _Rincewind to Twoflower.
The acting was generally very good. Sean
Astin was absolutely perfect as
Twoflower. He's just as I imagined him
to be; wide-eyed, naïve, a bit out of shape, but full of
enthusiasm. I thought David Janson did a
good job as
Rincewind, though I though he played up Rincewind's selfishness a bit
and he made the character seem almost cruel at times.
There were two people who stole every scene they were in
however. Tim Curry is wonderfully evil
as the ambitious magician Trymon. He has
a lot of fun with the role, and even his most dastardly deeds are
amusing. It's hard to play a comical
character who is
a murderer, but Curry seems to do it with ease.
The other actor who was magnificent was Christopher Lee who was
voice of Death. The role was played by a
life-size skeleton in a black robe holding a scythe, and Lee's
gave the character a menacing touch (he is Death after all) while still
terribly funny. My favorite exchange of
the movie involved Trymon who summons Death for some information and
allows him to go back to the party he was attending:
Trymon: I hope it's a good party!
Death: I think it might go downhill at midnight.
Death: That's when they'll be taking my mask off.
This film, which consists of two one and a half hour
segments, comes on one DVD in a standard keepcase. There is no insert.
The 5.1 English soundtrack was clean and clear. Good
use was made of the soundstage and they
came up with some neat audio effects that worked particularly well. For example, Death's voice echoed and the
reverberated sounds were thrown to the rear speakers.
It filled the room with his voice and made
the character sound even more menacing and powerful.
Filmed (and broadcast) in HD, it's too bad that this wasn't
released on Blu-ray. In any case the 1.78:1 anamorphic picture looked
with a very good level of detail and nice strong colors. The blacks
spot-on and the whole image just looked wonderful. A nice looking DVD.
There is no bonus material.
Extras that appeared in the region 2 edition, deleted scenes and
intro by Terry Pratchett among others, are sadly missing from this
This was a very enjoyable film. The
creators did a wonderful job of bringing
Terry Pratchett's world to life. Funny
and engaging, this is a movie that the whole family can enjoy. Highly